By Bill Weld
As the Republican turmoil over Donald Trump’s words and actions continues unabated, we understand your pain.
Gary Johnson and I each served as Republican Governors. We understand the obligations that elected officials feel toward their party’s nominee. We’ve been there, and have experienced the discomfort of defending a President or candidate when we didn’t feel like doing so. We likewise understand your reluctance to support the big-government Hillary Clinton.
But as we watch Republicans across the country struggle with Donald Trump’s indefensible and embarrassing words, and the attitude toward women displayed by those words, we recognize: Character and trust are vital.
It shouldn’t matter whether a microphone is turned on or not. Republicans simply deserve better than a candidate whose words and behavior aren’t suitable for a locker room, much less the White House.
Now is the time, and the opportunity, to accept and even embrace the notion that there are more than two options in this election.
Of the three tickets that will be on the ballot in all 50 states, and which have the potential to win this election, only Gary Johnson and I will be able to mend partisan fences.
Despite all the side-show distractions, the issues voters care about are jobs and the economy. We have pledged to submit a balanced budget to Congress within 100 days of taking office, and our records prove we will support tax and regulatory reforms that will put Americans back to work.
We’re not going to avoid making the hard choices. Everything, including military spending and entitlement spending, will be on the table so that we as a nation can begin to live within our means.
Both of us have proven records of fiscal responsibility. Gary Johnson vetoed 750 bills when he was Governor, largely because they spent money that didn’t need to be spent. He’s the only free market candidate in the race. And he’s the only one of the three major candidates supporting free market approaches to immigration.
As Governor, he cut taxes 14 times in New Mexico. I cut taxes 21 times in Massachusetts. We both left our states in a better position than before we took office. Moreover, we did that while still working with opposing-party interests. That’s a skill set notably absent in Washington today, and the nation is suffering as a consequence.
On foreign and military policy, Gary Johnson is the only candidate with a clear vision of how to right the wrongs of our recent foreign misadventures.
In a speech last week laying out this vision, he declared: “The first and overriding principle is that our foreign policy and military actions must support clear U.S. interests. That seems obvious, but in recent years, it has not been the case. Our interests are our lives, our property and our freedom. They are not necessarily a desire to shape the world in our own image or to pick winners and losers in civil wars on the other side of the globe.”
And while Trump has made some valid points about the need to require other nations to pay their fair share of defense expenditures, his character and lack of integrity are so lacking as to be incapable of being trusted.
That’s why we need Honest Gary Johnson – a man who is utterly without guile – standing up for the everyday interests and needs of American citizens.
Here’s the question that Americans need to ask themselves: If you needed someone to take care of your household while you went on a vacation, to whom would you trust that responsibility: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson?
To ask the question is to answer it. Refusing to support Donald Trump does not leave you without a candidate. It leaves you with an opportunity to consider the alternative offered by two former Republican Governors who served with integrity, made our states better, and left office with our heads held high.
The author (@GovBillWeld) is the Libertarian vice presidential candidate. He was the former Governor or Massachusetts. Learn more at http://johnsonweld.com
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